By Joe Rector

On more than one occasion, I’ve stated my dislike for resolutions. We all make them after much reflection and deliberation but break them with blinding speed. Most of the things we vow to change about ourselves deal with personal growth: read more, eat less, exercise daily, quit a habit. For the majority of us, our commitment towards those self-promises fade away. None of us should feel too bad; humans are meant to dream big, even if those dreams burn away like a fog when we wake up.

I’d like to possibly make some changes in the last years of my life. For one, I’d certainly enjoy not worrying so much. All of my life, I’ve been a worrier. It is an inherited trait from my Daddy. He spent hours at the kitchen table with his pad and pencil and fretted over finances. As a young man, he told his mother that he would die young, and for the rest of his years, he concerned himself with how to take care of the family that he so much loved when he was no longer there. A lack of education kept him fussing at his sons to do their best in school, and he always intended for the three of us to graduate from college.

My family says that I have to have something wrong on which to dwell. If I don’t, they say I worry about that. I’d like not having to expend energy that goes with always looking for something to go wrong. So, maybe I can give up the worry, just a little bit.

I also need to give others a break. That means being kinder to others and, most of all, giving them the benefit of the doubt. Yes, I am overly critical of people. First of all, I pick at myself in the same way, and I hold others to the same high standards. Life would be more pleasant if I accepted that others think differently than I do and aren’t wrong for doing so. Realizing that today’s world belongs to younger generations might also make life run more smoothly. Those folks will face problems that I can’t begin to understand, and they must find new ways of dealing with them. My old opinions and criticisms won’t solve much of anything. The people in every facet of my life might be happier if I’d cut them some slack.

I’ve heard several people talk about the joy of just living. I might just give that a try. For generations, senior citizens have been criticized over their crusty, griping personalities. Some of that might be the result of aches and pains that accompany aging, but much of it comes from the habit of being in a bad mood. I’ll see if I can just enjoy each and every day without being so hateful. Maybe I can be content with just waking up each day, breathing in and out, and experiencing whatever occurs.

No, these are not resolutions. They are more the products of different attitudes. Okay, maybe they are one in the same. At any rate, I’ll see how things go and if they make a difference. I can only get better.